Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing is a technique developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in the late '80s. It borrows from many treatment modalities including cognitive, psychodynamic, body-based, experiential, and behavioral therapies. Since then it has been heavily researched and has been found to be effective in treating:

• Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
• Generalized Anxiety Disorder
• Sleep disorders, nightmares
• Military trauma, other trauma
• Grief
• Fear of upcoming events
• Phobias
• Dissociative disorders   

EMDR is an eight phase treatment format which uses bilateral visual stimulation to process the problem. It is usually an adjunct to an overall treatment plan; i.e. it is rarely used by itself. It has been endorsed by the American Psychological Association, the American Red Cross, and the International Critical Incident Stress Management Foundation as well as by HMOs.

I have found EMDR to be extremely effective in helping clients integrate charged memories that have been stuck in an unprocessed state in the brain. According to Shapiro, it appears that EMDR allows the mind's accelerated information-processing system to reach those memories and allow them to become unblocked so that the client can move on.  


Bonnie Gilliom, MA, MS
Licensed Professional Counselor | National Certified Counselor
(919) 636–0994 | hopegrowth@bellsouth.net
Psychotherapy for Individuals and Couples in Chapel Hill and Durham